West Florida shelf and slope prime target for gas, oil in eastern Gulf of Mexico

The Gulf of Mexico off Florida is one of the nation's last remaining petroleum frontiers. Some 80,000 sq miles of state and federal area covered by the sea to a depth of less than 3,300 ft are so far only marginally explored for oil and gas.The discovery of potentially recoverable giant natural gas reserves of 2.6 tcf off the Florida Panhandle, confirmed in 1995, rekindled Florida's objection to petroleum activity in federal waters off its coast under Gov. Jeb Bush in response to public fear of adverse impacts.It has become Florida's policy to oppose oil and gas operations within 100 miles off its shore. Pres. Bill Clinton blocked further leasing after Lease Sale 181 in these ...

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